A Kitchen Slicer is one item I own that I feel is indispensable. It’s not that I use it so often, it’s more of a case that nothing I have replaces it. Having one, I find myself using it for so many things.
My Kitchen Slicer is a foldable one, so I can store it out of the way, and it is old; about 20 years or so. I paid about thirty bucks or so for it; oddly enough, it still runs for about the same price.
That being said, you get what you pay for – mine is a little rickety, the button is a bit awkward to use, it doesn’t always slice “perfectly” and it is a bit of a mess to clean. The latter, I’m sure is true of all kitchen slicers.
why i like it:
- I have saved a ton of money and time over the years.
- It folds away and goes back in its small box in an out of the way cupboard.
- It makes quick work of slicing almost anything that won’t go in the food processor.
- It was very inexpensive – even if it hadn’t lasted so long, I could have replaced it many, many times before I even began to approach the cost of an expensive one.
what i use it for:
- Slice turkey, ham and leftover chicken for lunch meat. Since the original item is bought at rock bottom pricing, I’ve saved lots of money. (I shoot for 69 to 99 cents a pound.)
- I use for slicing roast beef for Italian beef sandwiches, for slicing steak for Philadelphia cheesesteak. I’ve even used it to slice leftover roast.
- It makes wonderful work of thinly slicing things like chicken, beef or pork for stir fry – since I often buy sales priced proteins in larger quantities, it makes it worthwhile to pull out the slicer, cut, and portion it for the freezer.
- It can’t be beat for beautifully slicing up Brisket, like for my Corned Beef & Cabbage. That same brisket can be cut more thinly for Reuben’s.
- It cuts through home-made bread like a dream, making slices uniform and even for all kinds of sandwiches. Great way to portion control and avoid having to eat a “hunk.”
- It works wonderfully for slicing things like Salami or cheese for a tray or a party.
- Make short work of slicing cheese into beautiful slices (sliced cheese costs more than block cheese in my area of the country.)
- I slice the large quantity of onions needed for French Onion Soup. Since pole to pole is the best way to slice the onions, the only other way to properly slice them is by hand. It takes forever (and a few tears) to slice by hand or mandolin, and the food processor doesn’t do the greatest job.
- I use it to slice potatoes when I make potato chips, or planks of potato or sweet potato for fries (just stack and slice them.)
- I also use it for other vegetables, especially if I need any quantity, like for a party or a potluck: Fennel, tomatoes, etc. Cabbage shreds beautifully for slaw.
- I’ve even used it to very thinly slice up oranges and lemons for marmalade.
- I’d like to thank Wendy J. for suggesting using the slicer when dehydrating foods! The precision of the thickness and cuts would mean items would all dry at about the same time. Think fruits, vegetables & jerky!
Since it’s normally tucked away, I don’t always think of it for every day uses – perhaps if I had more cupboard space, I’d use it more often. I do, however, find it indispensable after Holidays in dealing with the leftovers – we love slicing up turkey and/or ham for our hot broiled sandwiches, for instance. My kids have always loved the thin slices over “hand carved.”
let’s talk about saving money:
Frankly, I have friends who wouldn’t dream of spending $6.99 a pound for beef tenderloin when it is on special around the holidays, but they regularly buy lunch meat, don’t use coupons and don’t shop the best sales.
They’re not alone! I’ve been there, too. Standing in front of the deli case, trying to compare pricing and picking up the one that has the most sales stickers that week. Those packages are a lot of money! If you’re looking at $3.99 for 8 ounces, that’s about $8.00 a pound – way more than my tenderloin!
What compounds this is that many use lunch meat as a staple, buying it week after week. If you have several family members and go through four or five packages a week, that’s about $1,037 a year. Just in lunchmeat. If you have a freezer and cook up sales priced turkey and ham and slice it yourself, you’d be paying around $89.00 for the same amount. That’s pretty huge! The bonus? You’d also have the bones or carcass for soup.
As another example, when I was on crutches and couldn’t cook I needed something to bring to a party, I stopped by the grocery and grabbed a meat/cheese tray. There was no price, and I knew it would be expensive, but it was $25.00 when I got to the checkout! It had two little packages of crackers and a few ounces each of Salami and Cheese. Had I bought my own and sliced it, especially if I bought it on sale, with a coupon, it would have been about $4.00 for that amount of meat and at the regular price probably about $8.00 to 10.00.
when is equipment an investment?
Items for the home or kitchen that SAVE you money are always worthwhile expenditures, investments, really. We rarely eat lunch meat type sandwiches, but my slicer paid for itself within the first five pounds. The same goes for any equipment that’s needed to process your own food at home.
healthier, greener cooking:
Cooking and slicing your own products at home is going to let you avoid a lot of packaging and a lot of additives. Granted, things like salami and ham probably already have some additives, but not to the extent you’ll find in prepackaged meats.
- Food Processor: I do own one, but it just doesn’t make clean beautiful slices like my Kitchen Slicer does.
- Mandolin: I’d wanted one for years, but they’re expensive. I found mine at a second-hand shop and use it for quite a few things, but again, it just doesn’t do the same job. The cheapest one I’d priced out was $69.00, and that was a few years ago.
- Kitchen Knife: Yes, I know, and I use mine often, and use it well – but never can I carve those perfectly wafer-thin slices of lunch meat my family loves.
For me, a Kitchen Slicer is an essential piece of equipment and has earned its cupboard space.